Although merely a rumor at this point, there is talk that beleaguered former Oregon Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is interested in becoming an Ole Miss Rebel. For the two or three of you who are completely unaware, Masoli was recently dismissed from Oregon following a citation received for possession of the stickiest of the icky. He was, at that point, already on a very short leash with his coaches due to his having plead guilty to a misdemeanor burglary charge - he apparently stole a laptop from a fraternity house on Oregon's campus.
So he's a crook. He steals computers. He also likes drugs but, c'mon, the kid's from San Francisco and attended the University of Oregon - we can let that one slide. There's his big downside.
(As a fun aside, Cameron Newton, the former Florida quarterback and current Auburn Tiger, was dismissed from the Florida football team after having stolen a laptop. He was heavily "recruited" post-suspension by none other than Mississippi State. The SEC West: Where computer thieves look for second chances.)
His big upside?
Look at him run:
I know he was the Ducks' quarterback for the past two seasons, but his skillset is less that of a quarterback and more that of a squatty, hard-nosed halfback who can throw and generally manage an offense. Imagine the threat a player like Masoli could be out of the wildcat. Hell, imagine what he could do as our starting quarterback? I am, of course, a Nathan Stanley fan and think he's a fine quarterback, but the guy's about as mobile as a statue. Raymond Cotton might be mobile, but he's got a bum shoulder and could really benefit with a year rehabbing behind a guy like Masoli. And the third Rebel quarterback, Randall Mackey, a true wildcat threat, isn't even on campus yet (I know, neither is Masoli, but he has played big boy ball for two seasons, something Mackey cannot boast).
So, were this to happen, think of Masoli as a wildcat/Stanley alternative. Purely as an athlete and football player, Masoli's potential contribution to the Rebels could be huge.
But, Jeremiah Masoli as an off-field liability is ultimately what may keep him out of Oxford or the SEC in general. None of us really know what kind of a person Masoli is - hell, maybe he's a really nice guy - but we are all aware of his foolish missteps. For starters, he was hanging around a fraternity house as a senior in college (who does that?). Then he, as a nationally famous athlete with a potential NFL future, stole a computer.
That is just something I cannot understand. I am trying to make some sense out of why a guy like Jeremiah Masoli would want someone's laptop, even if they were just going to sell it for a couple hundred bucks. Perhaps the guy was desperate (doubt it) or perhaps he loves the thrill of thievery (kleptomania is a serious issue, kids), but no circumstance could cause one to not tread very lightly with Masoli's transfer.
Then he got busted with weed. Whatever. As if that hasn't happened to any college athlete playing for any program ever. Yes, he's dumber than a brick for getting in trouble after already being in the Ducks' doghouse due to his laptop thievery, but the transgression itself alone of it's context really isn't that big of a deal.
It then goes without saying that such a move would ring negatively with the press and provide ammunition for our ignorant, double-standard wielding "friends" down in Starkville (YOU RECRUITED CAM NEWTON A FEW MONTHS AGO HAVE YOU ALREADY FORGOTTEN THIS). Some could care less about this, while others are more sensitive to such. Regardless, one cannot deny the importance of media perceptions and the negative impact Masoli could have on such regarding the Rebels.
In the end, the situation presents itself with a real need for risk/reward analysis; is one year of Jeremiah Masoli worth the potential trouble?
So once again, a pro for Masoli:
And a con: the guy's got a criminal past and were he join the Rebel football team we would undoubtedly receive some bad press for it, and would be putting our relatively clean off-field slate at risk.
NOTE: Due to Masoli having finished his undergraduate work at Oregon, his potential transfer to Ole Miss would not require a typical year spent on the bench, a la Jevan Snead after leaving Texas. This is because he is welcome to play per the NCAA so long as he continues his education by pursuing a graduate degree that Oregon doesn't offer. If this were to happen, expect to see a stout, bearded Hawaiian man in your next Southern Studies class.